Jacky Ickx’s Brabham BT26 that gave Jackie Stewart a fright

Add a Belgian driver and a Cosworth V8 and this Brabham BT26 was key to clinching second-place in the 1969 World Drivers’ Championship, says Simon de Burton

BT26-3 was Jacky Ickx’s car throughout the whole of the 1969 F1 season, but it was also raced by Jochen Rindt in ’68

BT26-3 was Jacky Ickx’s car throughout the whole of the 1969 F1 season, but it was also raced by Jochen Rindt in ’68

Tim Scott

Not long ago I had the privilege of being driven around the Spanish circuit Ascari in a Porsche 911 GT3 by the legendary Jacky Ickx. We were less than a lap in before the secret of the genius that enabled him to win Le Mans six times became apparent: despite being close to 80 years old, he remains spectacularly smooth (both in his driving style and in his demeanour), as cool as a cucumber and – most noticeably – incredibly sympathetic to the machine.

In fact, during multiple cringe-makingly quick laps, I don’t think the tachometer ever passed the 4000rpm mark.

a DFV made the 26A a winner.

A DFV made the 26A a winner.


So if you’re looking for a historic Formula 1 car and believe a little bit of a past driver’s magic might sometimes be left behind, check out this example that was successfully campaigned both by Ickx and posthumous 1970 F1 world champion Jochen Rindt.

The quintessential Brabham of the era, this BT26, chassis three, had four GP starts with Rindt late in the 1968 season prior to his (ultimately fateful) departure to Lotus.

Then powered by the feisty but temperamental Repco four-cam V8, the car retired from every race it took part in that year, prompting a switch to the soon-to-be-dominant Cosworth-Ford DFV V8 for the following F1 season.

Ickx’s BT26 wore No7 at Silverstone in 1969

Ickx’s BT26 wore No7 at Silverstone in 1969

Tim Scott

Re-designated B26A, chassis three was assigned to Ickx for the entirety of 1969, during which the Belgian used the car to take the chequered flag at the Canadian Grand Prix and second place in Mexico (where he also set the fastest lap), third at the French GP, fifth at the Dutch and sixth at the Spanish.

Ultimately, chassis three was key in taking Ickx to second place in the 1969 World Driver’s Championship (behind Matra’s Jackie Stewart) and landing Brabham with the runner-up spot in the International Cup for F1 Manufacturers.

And had it not been for rule changes for 1970, the car may well have gone on to further F1 successes.

Ickx adds his signature

Ickx adds his signature

In the event, it was sold into private ownership and competed in that year’s SCCA L&M Continental Championship in the US and Canada, remaining with the same owner for 15 years until being acquired by motoring writer, lawyer and automotive industry businessman Roger Meiners.

Now part of a private collection and carrying No11, its 1969 Canadian Grand Prix-winning race number, the car is signed on its wing by Jack Brabham – and, at the Paris Rétromobile show in February earlier this year, became ‘double signed’ after being reunited with Ickx who added his own distinctive autograph.

Chassis three notched a trio of F1 wins in 1969 – Nürburgring, Mosport Park and the non-championship Gold Cup

Chassis three notched a trio of F1 wins in 1969 – Nürburgring, Mosport Park and the non-championship Gold Cup

There must be many a car-mad baby boomer who recalls being drawn to the distinctive green and yellow Brabham livery during the ’60s – and plenty whose longing to replicate Ickx’s exploits behind the wheel came to nothing more than building a scale model of a BT26.

And no doubt one of those boomers now has the means to splash-out on the real thing. How I wish it were me…

1968/69 Brabham- Cosworth BT26/BT26A
On offer with Fiskens, London, £POA. fiskens.com



‘Boeing Knobbly’ is ready for take-off

1959 lister-jaguar knobbly ‘boeing car

1959 Lister-Jaguar Knobbly


λ This 1959 Lister-Jaguar knobbly ‘Boeing car’ has a flighty claim to fame. Delivered chassis-only to Carroll Shelby, it was given a body designed by a consultancy associated with Boeing for a crack at the Land Speed Record – with high nose and Kamm tail (photos exist). It later gained its Knobbliness and Jaguar power when owned by Anthony Bamford, he of JCB fame, in the early ’70s. It’s on sale at London’s Joe Macari for £894,950.

λ Following the opening of its flagship Q New York location last year, Aston Martin Ginza now takes the marque’s ‘ultra-luxury strategy’ to Japan. The
new 3500sq ft space sits within the Peninsula Tokyo hotel. “Tokyo holds huge growth potential for us,” says Aston chief brand officer Marco Mattiacci.

1973 Ferrari dino 246 gts

1973 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS

λ There aren’t too many road-going machines that have had songs dedicated to them, but Queen’s I’m in Love with my Car is, it is believed, about this 1973 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS which belonged to sound engineer John Harris. A rebuild of its V6 engine in 2008 and general sprucing up means that this car will, err, rock you! It’s at DD Classics in Surrey, price £395,000.

λ Car manufacturers are dab-hands at april fool jokes. Our favourite this year? BMW’s Cleaning Suit – an outfit resembling a roller in an automated carwash. Just add dancing.

λ Derbyshire-based luxury car dealer Tom Hartley took to Twitter when his clothes, including his ‘TH’ monogrammed undies, were ‘stolen’ from a health farm. All were discovered a week later in a locker. “Very strange,” remarked Tom, “but TH is now happy.” LG